Monday, December 21, 2015

Mandela fought beyond apartheid

Mandela fought beyond apartheid

The man named Rolihlahla Mandela who later came to be known as Nelson Mandela died last December 5 at the age of 95. The world came to know him as the man who tore down the white supremacist policy in South Africa.  Mandela fought nearly half of his life for the liberation of his people against the most oppressive system devised by man. This system is seen by many as rooted in colonialism where the white landgrabbers formed their independent state, but only to impose their ruthless domination over the native black majority almost reducing them to sub-human specie.  

The struggle of Mandela against apartheid catalyzed the truth that his African National Congress was not only fighting against colonialism that wanted to save itself by declaring independence in 1960, and seeking to impose the most ruthless form of racial segregation.  Maybe the collapse of the apartheid government on February 2, 1990 was a historical coincidence for it also marked the period when the whole of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union went through the process of ideological convulsions.  It was an era of great political and economic transformation, and expectations that men finally learned to merge their idea of equality with peace.

 While the West rejoiced to see how the people in the Eastern Bloc rejected the system of regimented Marxist socialism, the sweeping enlightenment equally shook the foundations of the hated apartheid government of South Africa leading to the final dismantling of the last official venue of slavery.  Thus, as the world mourned the passing of a giant who elevated the meaning of humanity to a higher level, refining the truth about injustice, oppression, racial discrimination and exploitation, leaders from the West lead by US President Barack Obama came to pay their last respect, and extolled his vision that would give resonance for their policy of aggression.

They purposely omitted an important chapter in the history of human civilization—that it was the then-Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea and other socialist states that equally elevate the dignity of man; that he be paid the rightful amount for his labor, and that vision was shared by Mandela.  It was those countries that firmly stood behind him in those dark years when he served his 27 and half years in the infamous Robben Island prison.  He was accused of embracing communism, but there was between him and the communists the common denominator of understanding the pains and misery of oppression.

It was the socialist countries, the non-aligned nations, and   those that dared to defy imperialism that began the arduous task in isolating South Africa from the international community.  Mandela was more than a revolutionary freedom fighter.  He understood the inseparableness of racism from imperialism, both being anchored on ruthless oppression.  Maybe Obama was right in calling Mandela “the last great liberator of the 20th century,” but unfortunately he conveyed an “apartheid dimension” of what the man has achieved by confining his feat to the abolition of racism in South Africa.  

Lionizing the occasion, US President Obama mentioned Mahatma Gandhi of India and his fellow American, Martin Luther King.   He was unmindful that the world was looking at the US and its co-imperialist states and their retinue of greedy globalists with a distance of objectivity; that they were waging a bloody war in the very continent that Mandela sought to liberate.  Obama used the occasion to enthrall the world how the US is spreading the gospel of democracy without mentioning that US drones continue to bomb Yemen; and that American, French, Italian and British troops are engaged in bloody aggression to overthrow regimes in Libya, Mali, Congo, and Sudan.

TIME Magazine paid a tribute to Mandela, quoting him as saying that “nonviolence (as a means for the liberation of his people) is a tactic, and not a principle.”  He added, “If it was the most successful means to the freedom of his people, he would embrace it.  If not, he would abandon it.  And he did.” That statement affirmed that his vision for socialism was synonymous to love for humanity like Fidel Castro of Cuba, that to be a fiery anti-imperialist is to liberate people from poverty like Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and it was by force of circumstance why he had to embrace revolutionary ideas to liberate his people from the same shackle of oppression.

It was an unavoidable circumstance in the life of Mandela, and in the history of South Africa, why he became an anti-imperialist.  He knew it was the socialist states that were the first to deny diplomatic recognition to the racist white government, yet it was clear to him that the imperialist powers led by the US and Great Britain never broke relations with the government that insisted in locking him and prominent ANC members in jail.
As the international community fought to isolate South Africa and press their demand for the release of Nelson Mandela and other prisoners of conscience, the same imperialist leaders that were accorded extensive exposure by their controlled mainstream media, harked in unison in sharing his vision for mankind.

   They tried to retouch his life, but could not deduce why the real Mandela had to make his criticism of the US aggression in Iraq, for playing a double standard policy on human rights of keeping a blind eye on allies that ruthlessly oppress their own people.  They kept silent that Mandela once castigated the US on its war on terror, seeing it as one that justifies killing, torture and incarceration of suspects without the benefit of due process.

Indeed, the imperialist glorified him at his memorial service, but could not reconcile themselves why Mandela sees racial equality as inseparable to respect for human rights, and in giving the workers their rightful share in the fruits of their labor.  These are the irreconcilable contradictions they tried to bury in their final farewell to a man whose love for humanity transcended beyond the issue of racial equality.

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